Over the past 30 years Mega Man has become an iconic figure in the gaming industry and although the lovable blue bomber has seen better days, many of us still hope that he may someday make a graceful, albeit unlikely comeback. However not all hope has been lost as he has made recent appearances such as debuting as a fighter the Smash Bros franchise with his own amiibo to boot. This time around Mega Man brings us his Legacy Collection, featuring the first 6 games that were first introduced during the NES days. Unlike most reboots this collection actually catered to many fans both new and old alike with extra presents included on the 3DS version of the game only, an honest step up compared to the treatment he has received in other titles lately.
Although I am well accustomed to the Mega Man X series, Battle Network and even the under-appreciated Starforce, ironically I have never touched the original Mega Man series. Aside from the lack of incentives to play the original series, I always felt that the original games felt outdated compared to my more modern Mega Man taste. Alas, it may be my age talking. Summing up my relationship with the Mega Man series, I tend to lean towards the Battle Network adaptation of the franchise. Thanks to the Legacy Collection I finally found that incentive and opportunity to play the game, or rather games, that started it all.
The first impression I had from both the bootup and the title screen was fan service and Capcom delivered well on this end. Instead of updating the UI, the title screen maintained the retro theme and remained simplistic with the game option, challenges that are unique to this software, and the usual, music and option features. Naturally I chose the game option as I was eager to play the original games, but as soon as I selected the “Mega Man” title, I saw the database feature that contained all sorts of artwork with commentary and other content found within the first title.
These same images were high quality in Museum mode with an option to zoom in and pan out. The museum feature also contained more images with categories such as Antiques, Production Art, Character Files, and Concept Art. I believe some of the concept art were never released to the public. Instead of playing the game right away, I took my time learning all sorts of tidbits about Mega Man, the enemies, and more. This was enough to tell me that Capcom didn’t make a quick cash cow port but rather a reboot with some serious tribute thrown in especially for long time fans of the series. It’s worth noting that both of these features played a classical soundtrack, giving the player a sense of nostalgia and leisure as they view this memorabilia.
Upon actually playing the game, I realized it was true to its roots, nothing remained altered except the control scheme. I decided to tackle Gutsman stage as it seemed fairly simple. A few minutes into the game and I already saw the difficulty NES games posed during its days. I had to use fast reflexes and often times I would ALWAYS have to resort to the Save state and Load state feature. It was a little difficult to master the Save feature since I had to reflexive press R and save while at the same time repeatedly loading each time I died. There were times where I nearly saved the instance in which I died or times where I forgot to save after I finally survived the ordeal. That being said, the Save feature is ideal for newcomers who lack the hardcore experience in playing classic games. These platformers at its core follows a winning formula in game play through the remaining five games.
Outside of the playable 6 Mega Man titles, Legacy Collection comes with built in challenges that are remixes of its respective games such as “MM1 Remix 1” which throws you around certain stages within the first game as you complete them to get the best time or replay for a much better score. This is great as dedicated Mega Man fans tend to take on self imposed challenges. These remixes can keep players occupied well after they finish all 6 titles.
In addition to the built in challenges, there are challenges that are unique to the Mega Man amiibo containing both original and creative content that breaks the standard notion of the regular remixed challenges. The Mega Man amiibo from the Smash Bros series or the golden variation that comes bundled with the Legacy Collection: Collector’s Edition will unlock this exclusive content.
Mega Man Legacy Collection is a true masterpiece in terms of what it has to offer, and considering that it comes from Capcom of all companies, the compilation deserves full appraisal. This collection delivers the faithful reproductions of these games as promised with only a few minor alterations that can be controlled at the player’s request. The game itself not only carries a golden amiibo and Mega Man postcards in the Collector’s edition, but all versions include Mega Man stickers, even a download code for music and two Nintendo 3DS home screen themes: “Stage Select” and Mega Man vs. Dr. Wily!–and for its price, that’s quite a steal. The featured games takes the extra mile of satisfying players by including newer content such as its database, museum and challenges to get the most out of a player’s pocket. While these games appear simplistic in content, take into consideration that these titles were originally released as far back as 1987 with the latest title dating 1993. I would highly recommend for both new or unfamiliar players and especially for those whom are well acquainted with the blue bomber.